Letters to the Editor: Coronavirus’ lesson on climate change? Act now or face dire consequences

Members of a local residents' group in protective gear disinfect a park as a precaution against the coronavirus in Seoul.
(Lee Jin-man / Associated Press)

To the editor: In considering how to deal with global warming, there’s an important lesson to be learned from the varying national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: Taking action sooner rather than later means that less disruptive measures are required to address the problem. (“Climate change is just as real as COVID-19. Now’s the last, best chance for our government to treat it that way,” editorial, March 23)

South Korea’s response to the pandemic illustrates this. By responding early and aggressively with extensive testing and by tracing the contacts of confirmed cases, South Korea was able to control its outbreak with minimal economic disruption.

Unfortunately, European countries and the United States are now suffering the consequences of waiting too long.

The science is clear on the need to cut carbon emissions to slow down and eventually reverse global warming. For everyone isolating themselves at home, this is an excellent time to let your elected representatives know that you want Congress to implement a plan to do just that.


Elizabeth Ralston, Los Angeles


To the editor: How come we all agree that scientists working to save us from COVID-19 are heroes, yet we have a president who claims that scientists working to save us from the larger threat of climate change are promoting fake news?

If we learn anything from COVID-19, let it be to heed the warnings of the scientists dedicating their lives to a safer future for all of us, and not politicians dedicating their lives to helping themselves get reelected.

Patty Donnelly, Chino Hills


To the editor: The Times has appropriately reminded us that climate change is still a problem at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. When we are up to our armpits in alligators, it is hard to remember we need to drain the swamp.

While the editorial is timely, it may have made one statement too soon: “We’re not suggesting that climate change contributed to the coronavirus outbreak.”


It is true that there is no known direct connection between climate change and the pandemic; but it is also true that conditions resulting from climate change, such as stronger storms, floods and droughts, can change ecological conditions enough to cause unexpected problems such as disease outbreaks.

Rather than dismissing climate change as a cause of a pandemic, we should prepare for more serious problems as global warming continues.

Andy Martin, Huntington Beach